Hackers have stolen troves of data including names, birthdays and social security numbers from up to 80 million people in a cyber-security breach against Anthem, the US’ second-largest health insurer, it was announced.
The company said that although other personal information like addresses, phone numbers, email addresses and employment information was also stolen, “there is no evidence that credit card or medical information, such as claims, test results or diagnostic codes were targeted or compromised.”
Anthem said it had reported the attack to the FBI immediately and cybersecurity firm Mandiant was hired to assess the hack-attack and identify possible solutions.
President and CEO Joseph Swedish said the company was the target of a “very sophisticated” cyber-attack and promised customers that Anthem will individually notify affected members whose information has been accessed, as well as provide credit monitoring and identity protection services.
“I want to personally apologize to each of you for what has happened, as I know you expect us to protect your information,” said Swedish.
Cybersecurity has become a major concern for U.S. companies in the aftermath of the attack against Sony Pictures Entertainment, with retailers Target and Home Depot also reporting data theft last year.
President Barack Obama recently announced a $14bn cash influx from the 2016 budget to strengthen U.S. cybersecurity defences, 10 per cent more than the sum currently allotted.
Today, in an exclusive for Reuters, the White House said that it was working with bipartisan sponsors on a bill to protect data collected from students through educational apps to limit information that can be collected, analysed and sold.